Who Has Been Called

12079204_10205219061652137_7135292375495436543_n   12038190_10153306999708740_3277651574236118403_n

For more Christian devotions, ART ACTIVITIES, and free coloring pages, join us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

_______________________________________

I normally choose to use the NKJV of the Bible for our weekly devotions, but this week I am choosing to use the NIV. The reasons behind this are stated later in this devotion.

NIV:

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

_________________________________________________________________________

History Behind This Verse

Romans 8:28 was written by Paul to the church of Rome.  Paul was an apostle who spent the second half of his life traveling and spreading the good news of Jesus. He also wrote several letters to many of the early churches during this time.  The letters he wrote are called epistles.  There are 13 of Paul's epistles found in the New Testament. Paul's letters were written for multiple reasons.  Some were written for encouragement.  At this time Christians were often tortured and killed for their faith.  Paul understood the fear and difficulties that came to many believers during these early years.  And some of these epistles were written for redirection. Now days  many religious denominations have "boards" of people or "governing manuscripts" available to direct and guide their churches.  In the early days these "boards" did not exist. The early churches did not have manuals to follow or church heads to guide them in their daily decision making, so God called certain apostles to act as church governors. Paul was one of these appointed apostles.

When this verse was written, the church of Rome was just being established.  Members of this early church were being tortured and killed for their faith, Paul wanted to reassure these believers of God's LOVE for them! Verse 28 is part of this reassurance. This verse is still very much relevant to us today.  It is easy to question and doubt God's love when trouble befalls us, but we must remain strong in our faith.  Just as God only caused GOOD in the lives of these Christians of Rome, He ONLY causes GOOD in our "current day"  lives as well.  

We know that in all things that God works are for the good of those who love him.

_____________________________________________________________________

Why I chose the NIV translation for this week's devotion

Great thoughts to ponder on this verse by :

http://lhim.org/blog/2011/10/09/a-complex-verse-romans-828/

Let's look at this verse using two different translations:

Romans 8:28New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

NIV:

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

According to Brian Keeting:

Translation 1: God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.

Translation 2: In all things, God works for the good of those who love him.

“Translation 1″ appears to state the following about Romans 8:28:

“If a person loves God, and is called by God, then every single thing that happens to that person is for his own good.”

In other words, no matter what events happen to that person, all of those events are actually good things for him. This is because God, Himself, is explicitly controlling every single event that happens to that person.

“Translation 2″, on the other hand, has this to say about Romans 8:28:

“If a person loves God, and is called by God, then everything that God does to that person is for his own good.”

In other words, all of the events that God causes to happen to that person are for his own good. However, this does not mean that every single event that happens to that person is necessarily good – because many of those events are not caused by God at all.

___________________________________________________________________

My Thoughts:

We live in a fallen world.  Bad things happen on a daily basis, but God does not cause these things to happen. God is not a dictator.  He rules out of love not out of ego-seeking power. God LOVES us. When God does step in to help, He only causes GOOD!!!!

Our Heavenly Father has given each person free will to make their own choices.  Sometimes our own poor choices cause bad things to happen to us and sometimes other people's poor choices cause us to suffer, but these events are caused by us (humans), not by God.  Our God is not going to cause evil to come upon anyone.  He will sometimes allow it, but He will not cause it!

Our LOVING Lord will often step in to help us if we ask, but we are not His puppets.  Our Heavenly Father is ready and willing to surround and fill us with His extreme LOVE, but He is not power hungry. He is not sitting on His Heavenly throne and controlling every event here on earth.

I know that sometimes even when we ask, it seems that God chooses to not step in at all. Sometimes a tragedy may lie ahead in our future and when we ask our Heavenly Father to use His power and wisdom to stop the tragedy, He does not. This is extremely difficult for our limited minds to understand, but one day we will understand all.  For now we must simply keep turning to HIM!

On a happy note:

 Even when terrible things take place, God CAN make something GOOD come out of those tragedies!

__________________________________________________________________________

Key Words

Who

Has Been

Called

Who-  used to give further information about a specific person or people previously mentioned.

Has Been-  past tense

Called-  having been asked or invited to join

______________________________________________________

Connection To Us

What does it mean to be called by God?

The clearest verse on God’s drawing to salvation is John 6:44 where Jesus declares that “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” The original Greek word that we translate as draw was the word helkuo.  Helkuo literally means to drag or draw by an inward power.

If you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior you did so because God Himself led you to do so.  Isn't God's LOVE amazing!  His LOVE for you is so strong that He is willing to actually DRAG you out of the death grips of sin to rescue you! As I am typing this I am visualizing being trapped in a burning car.  My seat belt will not unlock and the car doors are jammed shut.  I see God Himself enter the flames, pull open the driver's door, unlatch my seat belt and carry me to safety! My salvation CALLING was symbolically just like this burning car scenario! My Heavenly Father literally saw me living in a burning, near fatal state and He chose to step in! He came to the scene of the accident (my life of sin)  and dragged (carried) me to safety!!!

The crazy thing about all of this is that some people choose to stay in their burning cars!   Some people actually ask God to close the door and leave them in their current deadly state!  Our Heavenly Father will not force Himself on anyone.  If an individual denies The Lord's help, God will immediately stop the rescue attempt. Our Heavenly Father will continue to keep His loving eyes on that person.  He may even return a few more times and try again to open the door, but in the end God will not SAVE anyone who chooses not to be SAVED.

Our God is SO VERY GOOD!!!  :)